Project managers have a critical role in their organizations. They are responsible for managing the entire project lifecycle, from project planning to completion. To align projects with the organization’s needs and priorities, project managers require efficient and easy-to-use solutions. Project management software can help ensure successful project completion on time and within budget.
What is project planning?
The project management lifecycle consists of four stages: initiation, planning, execution, and closure. Project planning is a critical phase in the lifecycle, as it determines the project’s success or failure. In this stage, a project manager creates a project management plan. They define what, when, and how to execute, monitor, and control. But twenty-first-century technological innovations like the cloud have expanded projects beyond the premises and complicated project forecasting.
Most projects today involve remote teams working from different locations globally. A strong project plan should provide an effective strategy to monitor and manage all team members. You also have to budget for each activity, schedule tasks, and align all inputs to meet the organization’s strategic goals. Without project management software, you may spend days or weeks creating an effective strategy, which in turn could delay the launch date by months. As a project manager, you need the best solutions.
Project planning is frustrating for so many PMs
Project planning is complex and frustrating. Yet some project managers still try to execute it with nothing more than Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Using outdated solutions will not help you address modern project complexities. You need the latest and most innovative software.
Solution: Combine the best project management software
Trying to plan and manage complex projects with nothing more than Excel spreadsheets is a recipe for disaster. The best strategy to streamline the process is to combine several solutions. Choose the best tools for each task. If you need a deeper integration for detailed tracking, use Microsoft Project for the Web to plan and schedule your projects. With MS Project, you can create a project plan in five simple steps:
- Create a new project.
- Set project start date.
- Enter your tasks and task durations.
- Link your tasks sequentially.
- Add milestones.
You can also use Microsoft Planner to create a project management plan. This Project Management Software system uses Kanban methodology, ideal for lightweight task organization and management. For complex projects with stringent requirements, consider a more targeted project management software like Trello.
The last step is combining all your tasks, schedules, budgets, and other items to create a complete plan. You’ll need a robust migration tool that supports data transfer between your PPM systems. Combining the best solutions can simplify the process, and the best strategy is to use Microsoft Project for the Web with other solutions.
Avoid costly errors and delays
The planning stage determines the success or failure of the project. Your team cannot start working on the project before you’ve created a comprehensive strategy. And without efficient solutions, you can waste days or even weeks scheduling and aligning all tasks with the project’s scope. Lack of a clear plan also increases the risk of budgeting errors and delays, making it more difficult for your team to deliver the product or service on time. To avoid errors and delays, use the best software.
Simplify project planning with efficient software
Using the best solutions offers several benefits to your organization.
- Robust PPM systems like Microsoft Project for the Web and Planner simplify the process of creating project management plans.
- Using Project for the Web, Planner, or other project management software saves you time. These tools remove the hassle and shorten the process.
- Efficient project budgeting tools and financial management apps eliminate the risk of budgeting errors.
- A robust software aligns all inputs with the project’s scope, helping your project meet the organization’s requirements and strategic goals.
- The best project management solutions reduce overlapping or clashing task schedules.
As a PM, adopting efficient software and strategies can save time and improve your team’s productivity.
Find out how project management software helps enhance cross-team communication in your organization from our blog.